PARLIAMENT, July 21 – The Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, on Friday appealed for more time to make a decision on whether the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma should proceed via secret ballot or not.
The motion of no confidence is scheduled for August.
The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), which brought the motion, had earlier this week written to the Speaker to request that she make a decision by the end of this week.
In a statement on Friday, Parliament said the Speaker had replied to the Chief Whip of the DA to say that a decision on which voting procedure would be followed would be made and communicated to parties at the earliest opportunity, before the scheduled debate on August 8.
“Whereas the Constitutional Court found that the Speaker has the discretion to determine a voting procedure in a Motion of no Confidence, that decision must take into account various factors and circumstances, including that such a decision must be rational and not be made arbitrarily,” the statement said.
“In this respect, while the Court did not prescribe a specific time frame within which such a decision must be made, due regard must, as stated by the Court, be given to the circumstances prevalent in a particular case to ensure that the test of rationality is met. The circumstances in the case in question require careful consideration.
“The Speaker has appealed to all parties to afford her Office the necessary space to make an appropriate decision.”
The DA had earlier this week said there was no reason why the Speaker could not apply her mind and duly communicate her decision on the secret ballot by close of business on Friday, instead of waiting until a day or two before the vote.
The party said there was no reason why the Speaker should delay her decision any longer.
– African News Agency (ANA)